Prescriptive Entrepreneurship

Prescriptive Entrepreneurship

James O. Fiet

In the only known programme of prescriptive entrepreneurship, James Fiet provides a marked contrast to the standard descriptive focus of entrepreneurship studies. Instead of the anecdotally based pedagogies that have dominated the teaching of entrepreneurship (and which do not control for luck-based success), the author lays out a programme of research to develop and test theoretically derived guidelines for how to improve the success rate and performance of aspiring entrepreneurs. Rather than describing what entrepreneurs do, he prescribes and tests what they ought to do.

Chapter 6: Taking a Second Look at Systematic Search: New Evidence from Experimental Trials

James O. Fiet

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship


Key ideas This chapter reports on the analysis of the three experimental trials of systematic search, which I described in Chapter 5. It finds that there are significant treatment effects for training in systematic search for three different populations across five performance levels. It provides evidence that the original results were not caused by self-selection, experimenter bias or luck. As more promising discoveries are identified, other factors come into play. These results provide support for informational economics as a lens that can be used to train aspiring entrepreneurs. They also have important implications for the feasibility of prescriptive research in entrepreneurship. SCHOLARLY REACTIONS TO CONSTRAINED, SYSTEMATIC SEARCH In 2002, I finished writing The Systematic Search for Entrepreneurial Discoveries, which even its critics acknowledged was a notable departure from received alertness theory. It was one of the first calls for more prescriptive research. It was also the first prescriptive endorsement for informational economics. It contained an early version of the model presented in Figure 2.1. Even the earlier version of the model was based on the assumption that the ideas exploited are pivotal in determining whether entrepreneurs are or can be successful in creating new wealth. The book was criticized for unspecified shortcomings with regard to its research methods. Some of these shortcomings might have related to the way I controlled for individual differences despite the random assignment of subjects to treatment and control groups. Another concern was that experimenter bias could have influenced...

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